The Confession

In my last entry, I promised you Steve’s “confession,” so here it is: as I was prepping Callum’s room to paint it, Steve casually mentioned that he used to be a professional painter. Somehow, we managed to get through painting both an apartment and a house in Ottawa without this ever coming up. As soon as he revealed this to me, I began to imagine him painting our current home from top to bottom, from ceilings to baseboards, and everything in between, including the kitchen cabinets (they’re those ubiquitous 80’s jobs with the oak trim at the bottom). I wonder why he had kept his previous life as a painter to himself until now?

I suppose that divulging this information might have worked contrary to his desire to do as little work as possible on our rental home. Oh well. At least he left this on my pillow to make up for it:

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That’s right, folks. Let your imaginations run WILD about what I might have had to do for all that Canadian Tire dough! I’m a lucky lady!

At any rate, we did get Callum’s room painted last week, and with a hectic week of him starting daycare, I’m finally getting around to posting some before and after pics. I’m much happier with the sunny yellow and crisp white trim than the drab mix of browns that was up before. What do you think?

Here’s a photo of the nursery with the old colours, as I was preparing the room to be painted:

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And here’s a photo of the nursery after:

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I painted the walls and Steve did the trim. Can you tell the difference between the professional and the amateur’s work?

In the meantime, transitioning Callum to daycare continues to be a bit of a struggle. I was thrown into a complete tailspin last Friday, when I went to pick him up and found—horror of horrors—processed cheese and 2% milk in the fridge in the infant room! The friend that I spoke to after these discoveries would attest to the fact that I was very upset by this. In retrospect, it may have been an overreaction, but so far, I’ve cooked all of Callum’s food, and as a result, he’s had nothing processed. Also, children under the age of two should only drink whole milk, because it contains fat that is important for their developing brains.

In the end, a quick talk with the lead caregiver in Callum’s room and the daycare centre’s owner seems to have resolved the situation. We went over what kinds of food Callum will be getting as snacks, and processed cheese is not on the list. They explained that they only occasionally give the children milk at all and that, when they do, it’s just a small amount on their cereal, and they let me know that I was free to bring in whole milk for Callum should I so desire. I have since done so.

Although these may seem like small things, everything seems all-important when raising a child, and the choices I’ve made along the way, such as making Callum’s food myself in order to keep processed foods our of his diet, seem all the more important now that I am letting go of having him at home with me twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. I imagine the next twenty years or more will be a gradual process of letting go, but these first few steps are difficult!

Daycare: eep!

ImageToday was Callum’s first day of daycare. Although he was there less than two hours, since this week is his “gradual entry” into the program, and I was at the daycare centre the whole time, I was a bundle of nerves. (Last night I woke up at 2 a.m. feeling nauseous…) Leaving my one-year-old child in the care of complete strangers, no matter how lovely they may seem, is the most anxiety-provoking thing I have ever done.

We shopped around for a daycare, and this is a nice place: clean, bright, good caregiver to child ratio, good philosophy… Nonetheless, it feels like a baby farm to me: babies eating in high chairs in a circle, lining up to wash their hands. One little boy cried nearly the whole time we were there: separation anxiety. I felt his pain. I suppose I’ll get used to the idea, and Callum was a trooper, of course. He starting exploring the centre as soon as we got there, excited to see new toys and faces (in that order, apparently). I left the room a couple of times, and when I returned he didn’t seem to have noticed my absence: the first time, he was happily munching away on his lunch, and the second, he and another little person were figuring out a bead maze together. I’m proud of his independence! Maybe he can teach me a little?

Certainly, the song that was playing in the elevator as we made our exit didn’t help much: it was Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven.” As if I hadn’t already pictured terrible scenarios involving the daycare’s fifth floor balcony. Thanks for that, universe and soft-rock elevator music station.

Coming soon: photos of Callum’s now pale yellow room and Steve’s confession…